The newest research has demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that active relaxation triggers better blood flow to your organs, improving digestion and immune function, and thus, weight loss!
Stillness of the mind is one of the core values of yoga. When the mind is still thoughts are clearer, emotions are balanced, and living in the moment is possible. As an English teacher, my favorite themes to cover were transcendentalism and carpe diem. A great yogi once said that if one can live in the present then one can experience true happiness. (Maybe my winding career path is starting to make sense?)
I read this book that has really spoken to me. It is called, "The Yoga Body Diet." What really caught my attention was that the book addressed the mind, body, and spirit as a whole and preached that combining a stress-free diet along with stress relieving exercise that elongates the muscles, oxygenates the body, and calms the mind is one of the most effective paths to weight-loss. Imagine a fitness theory that treats the body as a whole! Hey, that's what I do!
The book has you figure out your Dosha, which is pretty much your character profile. You may have characteristics of other doshas, but one is dominant. There is Vata, Kapha, and Pitta (I'm a Pitta). Special diet recommendations and yogs poses are provided that are meant to help you achieve maximum health and mental clarity for your dosha type.
The book also offers tips to stimulate digestion and detoxification such as sipping hot water throughout the day to cleanse, mindful eating to bring mental peace, and breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing to calm the nerves. The book also provides a website, so you can figure out your dosha right now! (Just in case you're as excited as I am:)
So the main message is this- Don't Stress, Give yourself time to chill, and choose a fitness program that adresses not only a scale and calorie counting. Choose a fitness routine that's well-rounded for the mind, body, and spirit.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Having been in full contact sports most of my life, I've picked up a couple of tricks and tips for alleviating the soreness after a kick-ass bout or a side thrust kick to the ribs. I’ve had bruises so big they deserved their own zip code and I’ve been so sore after judo flips and crashing to the ground after a good foot sweep that I walked like Frankenstein. So, to my readers with a gluttonous need for intense exercise, I say with complete sincerity that I KNOW YOUR PAIN!
Below are a couple of tricks I picked up in the hood;)
Epsom Salts and Hydrogen Peroxide Bath: This combination is effective for a couple of reasons. Epsom salts help with bruises, strains, sprains and are an excellent aid in relaxing the whole body after intense exercise or a stressful day. The salts also pull toxic fluids out of the body, so after soaking in Epsom salts, be sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate. I recommend adding 2-3 cups per soak and stay in the water for at least 15 minutes. I like to read a magazine or listen to relaxing music to take my mind off of things and unwind.
After adding the Epsom salts to the water, add either 4 pints of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) or 1 cup of 35% food grade H202 as well. (Note: 35% H202 is very potent and can burn the skin if touched undiluted. Use this grade with caution).
According to www.massagetherapy.com, “When hydrogen peroxide is added to bathwater, the extra molecule of oxygen is released. The famous healing waters of Lourdes, in France, contain concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide baths often leave the body feeling alert and revitalized, like spending a day in the fresh country air. This gentle bath is antibacterial, antiviral and cleansing to the emotional and energetic bodies.”
This method oxygenates the blood, cleanses, and leaves your skin feeling silky soft. You can increase the oxygenation by taking deep belly breaths as you enjoy your soak. Also, it is recommended to have the water HOT when you soak, but I’ve had plenty of success having the water comfortably warm. Perhaps you’ll notice from the oxygenation that your skin tone will be much more even after taking this special bath.
So adding these two together = BLISS and REJUVENATION!
I recommend also dry brushing your skin before hopping in the tub. Doing so beforehand opens up your pores and jump starts cleansing, helps to break up fatty fibers, and stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system. You can read about how to dry brush in my blog from July, http://mindbodyspiritwell-roundedfitness.blogspot.com/2010/07/3-simple-things-you-can-do-every.html
Try this therapy after your next cardio kickboxing, boot camp, derby practice, or stressful day and see how you feel. If you want to jump in the air and click your heels, you can send me a thank you;)